The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The Japanese Art of Tidying Up Your Home and Life: Awesome summary by ebookhike

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Author: Marie Kondo 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing Marie Kondo? 2011

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

How cleaning became a worldwide hit (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up)

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: In December 2018, Netflix launched a new show… about cleaning. 

His heroine, the fragile Japanese Marie Kondo, became famous throughout the world for her book on how to properly clean up the house. This seemingly insignificant topic brought the 30-year-old woman worldwide fame. The book, published in the USA in 2014, has been translated into 35 languages, and the total circulation of its publications exceeded 2 million copies. In 2015 Time magazine named Marie Kondo one of the 100 most influential people in the world. And all because of cleaning…

It seems strange, but only before you try to put into practice the method described in the book “Magic Cleaning” (it has already been called the “KonMari Method”). Some of its aspects seem radical or a little strange, but the author insists: just try it! By following the simple principles of the KonMari Method, you can clean up your house once and for all. A house filled with only the right things, each of which has its own place, will become a source of joy and strength. The time spent on maintenance cleaning will be reduced significantly. But most importantly, you will learn to listen to your heart and make important life decisions, the influence of which extends far beyond the wardrobe.

This book is for those who hate cleaning. For those who are tired of fighting things. For those who consider themselves lazy and sloppy by nature. For those who spend too much time on putting things in order, which can be devoted to their favorite people and activities. For those who have forgotten how to hear the signals of their heart, are mired in painful relationships, suffer in an unloved job, and want to finally sort out their lives.

Magic cleaning by the KonMari method is your tool for finding inner harmony, strength, and joy in life.

Marie Kondo’s magical method

None of us were taught how to clean. Every family has recipes and traditions passed down from generation to generation, but when it comes to cleaning, we are on our own. 

Marie Kondo was the middle child in the family, who was not very noticed by her parents and spent a lot of time alone with herself. From an early age, her passion was cleaning: the girl sought to harmonize the space, trying a variety of methods, throwing away and folding, ordering and organizing. She went through a passion for beautiful organizers, numerous shelves and containers for everything in the world, through the desire to throw away everything unnecessary and the protests of loved ones, whose things became victims of her passion for order. She tried every possible system of classification of things and approaches to storage, tested the principle of “cleaning one area at a time” and “flow plans”, followed the Japanese tradition of New Year’s cleaning, and thought a lot about why clutter comes back again and again.

Finally, Marie Kondo developed her own method – and now works with clients around the world and teaches how to clean once in a lifetime, and at the same time regain peace, joy, and awareness. 

By cleaning with the KonMari method, you are changing your mindset and making room for what really matters to you. Once you master the method, chaos and clutter will never return to your home and office. 

Please keep this in mind as you apply the principles in this book. You will have to work hard – but only once. The result will please you for many years.

Image of the future

Before you open the cabinets, you must imagine the ideal image of your future. 

• Visualize the space you want to live in. If you are experiencing difficulties, pick up beautiful pictures from magazines, and visit interior salons and exhibitions. 

• Articulate what kind of life you want for yourself. List the activities you want to devote your time to in an updated, organized space. Be detailed and thoughtful. Try to fill the image of the future with vivid, attractive details for you – those that will make you happier. 

One of Marie’s clients decided that she wanted to live a “more feminine” lifestyle, enjoy cleanliness, scents and harmonious sounds – and after cleaning according to the KonMari method, she began to regularly take a bubble bath, light candles and play classical music at home.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The picture of the future created at this stage will fill you with inspiration for magical cleaning.

One giant step

For cleaning to help rewire a mindset, it must be done in one go. Practice shows that this process can take up to six months – but it is important to bring it to the end in order to enjoy life in the following years, surrounded by those objects that bring you joy.

Two stages of successful cleaning:

• first get rid of all things that do not bring joy;
• Then find the location of each item you decide to leave.

At the end of the cleaning, you will experience an incredible uplift, a feeling of freedom, joy, and strength. This experience will be your protection against the return of chaos and clutter. There will be nothing more in your life. 

“This dramatic change in self-perception, the belief that you can do anything if you set yourself such a goal, transforms behavior and lifestyle. That is why my students never come back to me. Once you feel the powerful impact of a perfectly tidy space, you will never return to clutter again. Yes, I mean you!”

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up


Getting ready for the cleaning party

Marie Kondo is sure that cleaning is a special event, an important turn in your destiny and the destiny of your belongings. Therefore, she advises treating it like a holiday: dress in beautiful comfortable clothes and completely immerse yourself in the process. 

Focusing is very important, so don’t turn on the music – at the very least, something neutral, without a certain rhythm and words, like the sounds of nature, will do. 

Ensure your privacy. Cleaning is a private matter. No one should see how you take apart your things and interfere with the process.

The best time to start cleaning is in the morning. So let’s start… 

Cleaning by category

As a rule, things related to each other are scattered throughout the dwelling. Clothes, books, documents, and sentimental items huddle in closets and on shelves, in rooms and corridors, in bathrooms and hallways. Cleaning each of the rooms separately means dooming yourself to the return of disorder. The correct approach is cleaning by category.

All things in the house can be divided into five categories:

• clothes,
• books,
• documents,
• miscellaneous items,
• sentimental items.

It is necessary to move in this order: first, fully work out one category and only then take on another.

The order of the categories is also not random. Practice shows that at first, it is difficult for people to hear the signals that this or that object sends them. And in order to decide whether to keep a thing or say goodbye to it, it is very important to learn to understand your feelings. After all, the goal is not to choose useful, new, or donated things, but to keep around you only those objects that fill you with joy. By following the order of categories, you will gradually train to hear your heart, save a lot of energy, and gradually, step by step, create the perfect order. 

Category one. clothing

First step. Collect and share 

First, you need to collect all the things of one category in one place. All clothes from all wardrobes, from hangers – from everywhere, except for the basket for dirty laundry. As a rule, at this stage, people experience a shock: mountains of clothes pile up, completely covering the floor. Only now do you see how many things you actually have? It looks intimidating, but we know what to do.

Now you need to take each item in your hands and listen to your feelings. When you pick up a thing that gives you joy, a very special feeling arises inside: as if you are stroking a puppy or kitten. Such a thing should be put aside – you will save it. If the heart is silent, then it’s time to say goodbye. Politely thank the item for serving you and put it aside.

Some things are not given to us for us to use them for their intended purpose. Sometimes their job is to teach us how to make the right choice. Therefore, even a blouse that has never been worn, which was bought at a sale, is a hint. She taught you that this color, style or size does not bring you joy – for this she needs to thank her … and then let go. Marie Kondo is sure that the thing you let go is happier than the one that is bored in the depths of the closet for years without a chance to be useful. 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

If there are too many clothes, divide this large category into subgroups: 

• tops (everything – from T-shirts to warm sweaters); 
• skirts and trousers; 
• clothes to be hung on hangers (suits, outerwear); 
• socks and stockings; 
• accessories; 
• shoes. 

Within each category, it’s easier to pick off-season items first – you’ll get optimistic by asking yourself, “Do I want to see this item again?” and keeping those things about which you confidently answer “yes!”. Things like “no” or “I don’t know…” deserve to be released.

Completely deal with non-seasonal things from one group, then seasonal ones – and only then proceed to the next. 

You may feel like you’re throwing away an awful lot of clothes, but if you choose things that make you happy, you’ll end up with just the amount you need.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

And please, forget about the concept of “home clothes” – as a rule, things that are put aside to wear at home are then bored in drawers for years. Time spent at home is a precious part of life. You can and should wear at home not some kind of “degraded” clothes, but only those things that bring you true joy. 


Second step. Storage 

All things that you have selected should receive their permanent place in the house. You will put each item thereafter use, taking care of it, giving it a chance to rest and serve you again – and, of course, maintaining order.

Marie Kondo strongly advises not to hang things on hangers, but to fold them in neat rectangles or rolls and store them in boxes, putting them on edge.

• It saves space. 

Folding allows you to fit 20 to 40 items of clothing in the same space required to hang 10 items.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

• Things that are lovingly smoothed and neatly folded are filled with energy, look better and last longer.

• Things that are neatly folded and placed on the edge do not wrinkle.

• Everything stacked in this way is visible even with a cursory examination of the box (you will never again have to dig and fish things out from under each other).

All new clothes, socks, stockings, etc. must immediately be unpacked, folded, and hung along with other things in this group. Things that have retained labels and packaging become “invisible” to their owners and contribute to cluttering up the space. 

To fold clothes:

• lay it out on a flat surface, and gently smooth it with your palms;
• fold the shelf of a T-shirt or sweater to the middle, put a sleeve on top of it, then the same on the other side – you have a long and narrow rectangle;
• fold the rectangle not strictly in half, leaving free a small area at the neck;
• fold the resulting rectangle three times so that you get a neat envelope; 
• put the thing on its edge: if you did everything right, it remains upright.

To roll jeans, first lay one leg over the other, folding the waistband in half. Then fold the jeans in half lengthwise, leaving a free strip at the top about 5 cm wide. Then fold in three more.

To fold socks, gently straighten them, lay one on top of the other, then fold in half lengthwise and in half again – you get a rectangle.

Laundry is folded in the same way, turning each pair of underpants into a neat rectangle. Bras are stored, straightened, put one into another, and placed on the bottom of the box in an upright position.

Stockings and tights are folded in the style of Japanese rolls: first, smoothing and laying one stocking on top of the other, then folding in half, leaving a narrow strip of the top free, and finally rolling it up. These rolls are stored in the same way, placed vertically in a box.

There is a perfect folding shape for every item, and when you find it, you will immediately feel it. Check by putting the thing on edge.

After stacking things, place them in a drawer, placing the lightest in front and the darkest in the back. 

For underwear, tights, and socks, shoe boxes can be useful for you – it is convenient to place rolls of small items in them.

Exceptions to the rule of vertical storage are things that feel better when hung: clothes made from thin, flying fabrics; designer clothing; suits, jackets, and coats. You will store them on hangers, dividing them into groups and hanging them according to the principle from thick to light and from dark to light. Thus, on each bracket in the far left corner there will be dark warm coats, then dresses (from long and dark to light and short), suits, jackets, and on the very right – blouses, from the darkest on the left to the lightest on the right.

Marie Kondo is convinced that this arrangement of things in a closet or dressing room is ideal – and you can even feel the flow of energy that moves along the hangers.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

It is unnecessary to store seasonal clothes after decluttering. You might want to hide swimwear and summer hats for the winter, and scarves, hats, and gloves for the summer. This is quite enough. The rest of the clothes should be stored as usual.

Bags are stored by placing one inside the other (no more than three bags together) and leaving handles on the outside to easily determine where each of them is.

You don’t need any special storage devices. When choosing furniture, give preference to dressers with drawers, rather than cabinets with shelves. Use shoeboxes as organizers: they are ideal for vertical storage of small items of clothing, as well as detergents, shampoos, spices, baking dishes, and many other small items.

Category two. Books

When sorting books, use the same principles that you applied to clothes. First, put all the books you have in one place, then pick up each of them and listen to your feelings. 

The only criterion that you should be guided by is the feeling of joy. Don’t get distracted by the benefits of the book or the fact that you never read it. Books, no less than other things, want to be useful and bring joy – and if this copy did not coincide with you emotionally, it is better to let it go.

Marie Kondo is sure: “In the case of books, timing is everything. The moment you come across a particular book is the moment you need to read it. In order not to miss this moment, I recommend that you limit the size of your book collection.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The books you’ve already read have become part of your personality. The ones you never looked through teaching you how to make better choices. Those that “really need” to be read, but for some reason, it doesn’t work out, are also better to thank and throw away: if you really need information on this topic, you will buy another copy, and then you will definitely read it.

Category three. Documentation

Throw away all documents except those that need to be kept forever. Documents on the property, education, certificates, and other similar documents take up very little space when folded into vertical organizers. Collect all warranty cards and put them in one transparent folder – periodically viewing it, you can at the same time get rid of those whose term has expired.

Set aside letters from people you love, photographs, and other similar items for the time being – this is the fifth category, and you will deal with it last.

Throw away the instructions for the technique immediately – if the need arises, you can easily find them on the Internet or contact the seller for advice. 

Materials from courses and seminars are also sent to waste: if you apply the acquired knowledge, then you already know everything that is written in the handouts. If you don’t use them, then you don’t need them and you will never re-read them.

Keep paid utility bills for a year. The rest of the bills, credit card statements, alerts, and notices, as well as newspapers, magazines, and other paper waste, are subject to release.

Set aside a small space for documents that need to be sorted out (current invoices and letters), and put the rest in a trash bag. 

Even the author of the book “Magical Cleaning” does not have an empty folder with current documents, but this should be strived for.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Category four. Miscellaneous

The most extensive and heterogeneous category includes:

• CD and DVD;
• goods for skincare;
• cosmetics;
• accessories;
• valuable items (passports, credit cards, etc.);
• electrical appliances and devices;
• household appliances (stationery and writing materials, sewing kits, etc.);
• household supplies (consumables: medicines, detergents, paper napkins, etc.);
• kitchen supplies and food supplies;
• things for hobbies (ski equipment, equipment for handicrafts, etc.);
• other.

How to parse a heterogeneous category:

• coins are immediately sent to the wallet;

• gifts have already fulfilled their role: they showed you the love of the giver; today they are just things, and if they do not bring joy here and now, they need to be released;

• packaging from appliances should be thrown away if they are not suitable for storing small items, underwear, or socks (boxes from iPhones and iPad are convenient for this purpose);

• spare buttons for outerwear immediately sew to the lining, for light ones – throw them away (they come off only when the garment itself is already worn out to the limit);

• cosmetics in probes have a very short shelf life, it is pointless to store them;

• store perfume bottles in a closet and take them out only to use them, and then put them back;

• sponge for washing dishes carefully wring out and hang on a hook to dry;

• Bed linen “for guests” is needed only if guests regularly stay at your place for the night;

• Handouts from trade shows, souvenirs from movie theaters, and small gifts from promotions that you don’t use have already brought you joy at the time of receipt – throw them away.

Organize everything else in groups and store together (all disks with disks, all supplies with supplies, all kitchen utensils in one place; “paper”, “electric” and “made of cloth” – with each other), neatly spreading out and arranging to size. 

A place to store things from this category should be chosen on the principle of “easy to clean” and not “easy to get.” Going to do something, a person usually does not mind getting the item he needs; but having finished the job, it is sometimes not easy to force yourself to put the tool back in place. 

For standard-sized housing, it makes no sense to build complex route maps – it is enough to store all such things next to each other. Storage should be as simple as possible – and so that you can see at any time how many things you have. This will keep you from hoarding.

Arrange storage spaces according to the design of your home and keep the classification simple: just put away those things that are rarely used, and store the rest as described. 

“When choosing what to keep, ask your heart; When choosing where to store, ask your home,” advises Marie Kondo.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Make sure that there are no inscriptions on storage boxes – you yourself will automatically read texts in languages ​​​​that you know every time you see them without noticing it. It’s tiring.

Category five. sentimental gizmos

Once you’ve perfected your cleaning skills on less emotionally significant items, you’re ready to sort through the last, fifth category. These are photographs, souvenirs, letters, and memorabilia. They, too, have to be divided into those that bring you joy today, and those that have already fulfilled their beneficial function and can go to rest.

“Truly precious memories will never be erased, even if you throw away the items associated with them. No matter how wonderful our past is, we cannot live in it. Much more important is the joy and delight that we feel here and now,” says Marie Kondo.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

She suggests that you keep only the most significant items that cause surges of joy – you already know how to distinguish them well. Touch every object with your hands. Get photos from albums. Keep only the best. 

If you find your children’s crafts, ask them if they are worth keeping (more often than not, children say “no”). 

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

The author of the KonMari method strongly advises carefully sorting out these sentimental gizmos, and not shoving them into one box that will be “kept forever” in the far corner or left to gather dust in your parents’ house. She is sure that only by sorting out the objects of the past, you will feel complete peace and open the door to important positive changes in life.

“The space we live in should be for the person we are becoming now, not the person we were in the past.”

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up


In relation with relatives when cleaning, it is important:

• keep them out of the room where you clean;

• do not throw away or organize other people’s things (only they themselves can decide what their things bring them joy); 

• do not give relatives those items that you want to throw away, but are hesitant about (relatives will not refuse out of politeness, but unfairly impose your things on them; if you want to give something to them, ask before cleaning what they would like to receive in a gift – and if there is such a thing, offer it).

Each family member should have a single place to store all personal belongings. 

If you are the mistress of the house and the main responsibility for the orderlies with you, remember that you should always start only with your personal belongings. Then you can clean the common spaces (living room and bathroom). Cleaning the KonMari method sets off a chain reaction – gradually family members also begin to sort out their belongings and clean up their rooms. Even three-year-old children, as the practice of Marie Kondo shows, are able to learn the principles of ordering their space. 

But even if your family is not in a hurry to clean up or does not do it as carefully as you would like, you will find that your irritation will decrease: when your personal space is orderly and brings you joy, someone else’s mess is less of a concern.

Magic “click”

Having been cleaning for many years and helping different people organize their space, Marie Kondo knows for sure: everyone has their own personal limit when the number of things becomes exactly as needed. She calls it the “click point” – the moment of realization that the job is done and you can stop.

Until you intuitively feel that you have not finished cleaning up, continue to follow the described rules – and in the end, you will feel that you have reached the maximum. 

KonMari cleaning is an opportunity to make your home as individual as possible because only those things that fill your heart with joy will remain in it. You will see yourself for who you really are. Understand what you value, and what is important to you. And the magical effect of this cleaning will affect all the decisions that you will make in the future.

You will have a different attitude toward shopping: impulsive shopping will be a thing of the past, and only those items that truly please you will appear in your house. And even “strategic reserves” will begin to decrease – after all, you will not only understand but also feel how much easier and more pleasant it is to live in a house free from unnecessary things.

Figures from the practice of Marie Kondo

90% of people fall into the “can’t throw away and can’t put back” category, and 10% of people fall into the “can’t put back” type. 

160 tops are the average amount of piles that people collect at the start of a harvest.

60 toothbrushes – the largest number stored in one house.

30 rolls – a record for the number of cling films in one house.

80 rolls is the largest stock of toilet paper.

20 thousand cotton buds are the most impressive collection.

On average, 45 large garbage bags are taken out by people when decluttering a small apartment. 

200 large bags and 10 large items that did not fit in the bags – a record for one married couple living in a four-room house with an attic.

25-30% of the original number of items usually remains with Marie Kondo’s clients after selection. 

28,000 trash bags were thrown away by Marie Kondo’s customers in total in 2014. 

More than 1,000,000 individual items that suffered in homes without bringing joy to their owners were thrown away in 2014.

None of Marie’s clients regretted throwing away this or that item. Even if he “grabbed” her in just a couple of days, the way out was very quick. All people who have applied the KonMari method note that their life has become much more convenient.

your ideal life 

Having worked hard, you made your house the way you painted in your dreams. Now all you have to do is put things away daily and keep them clean.

If you have dismantled all things to the end, the trash will not return. A light mess will be easy to clean up in a very short time. It will be much easier to keep the rooms clean.

The author of the KonMari method every day, returning from work, empties her purse and sends it to “rest”, and puts the items that she needs daily (wallet, travel card, lipstick and keys) into a box in the top drawer of the dresser – this helps not to forget the necessary little things going in the morning.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Following the Japanese tradition of creating things with such respect as if they have a soul, Marie Kondo thanks her things for the support they give her every day – and I am sure that this approach fills her life with joy, and helps things to keep their beauty and beauty for a long time. functionality. You can do this daily and out loud, or you can do it mentally and from time to time, especially if this practice confuses you at first. Gradually, you will begin to feel how the house responds to your greeting, and things rejoice at your gentle touch. 

“Things that are treasured shine.”

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

cleaning magic

When you finish cleaning your house with the KonMari method, you become a different person. Now you have more space and time in your life for what you truly love. As you sort things out, you remember what pleases you the most. Realize what motives and aspirations guide your actions. Understand what place in your life is occupied by thoughts about the past, and what is the fear of the future. You have looked into the face of your true self. Learned how to make important decisions based on the signals of your heart, and strengthened self-confidence. Most likely, like other students of Marie Kondo, you felt more energetic, fit, and youthful, getting rid of unnecessary things. 

KonMari Cleaning has opened the door to a happier and brighter life for you. Congratulations!

10 important thoughts on one page

1. Real cleaning in one space is done only once in a lifetime. Once you put things in order, you will easily maintain them. If everything is done correctly, new waves of disorder do not threaten you. 

2. Cleaning begins with choosing the things that delight your heart. The rest of the things must leave your home.

3. For the cleaning process to be effective, you need to clean by category: first, all items from the “Clothes” category, then all books, all documents, all things from the “Miscellaneous” category, and finally all sentimental gizmos.

4. At the beginning of the cleaning, all things from the category that you are engaged in must be collected in one place.

5. For selection, each item, without exception, must be picked up and sensitively listen to your emotions. If the thing causes a rush of joy, as if you are stroking a puppy or kitten, it is yours. If you find it difficult to make a decision, looking for rational arguments or justifications, you no longer need this thing. Don’t think about storage until you’ve finished sorting out all the items in this category.

6. When you have finished selecting, carefully fold the remaining items into rectangles or rolls and send them to storage inboxes. 

7. Clothes that feel best when hung, store on hangers, placing them in groups from dense and dark to light and light.

8. Store upright everything you can: clothes, papers, food containers. Don’t buy complicated storage devices – for everything you need, ordinary shoeboxes are enough, which make great organizers.

9. Cleaning is a very personal process. Try to conduct it in such a way that no one can interfere with you. Don’t be afraid to throw away the excess. Focus on your feelings and trust your intuition. Most likely, you will have only 25-30% of things left – but each of them will bring joy. 

10. Real cleaning changes a person from the inside. He becomes more calm, confident, and determined. This positively affects all areas of life.

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